New FMLA right: Care for parents of military members called to duty
  • leadership
  • Blog post

New FMLA right: Care for parents of military members called to duty

Seems as if the FMLA net just gets wider and wider, giving more people the right to time off.

Here’s the latest: Now your employees are allowed military FMLA leave when a military service member’s active duty affects the care being given the service member’s parent(s), and the employee has to step in and help. (The parents must be incapable of self-care.)

It’s part of the so-called “qualifying exigency” section of the FMLA.

An example
This is how it might work: Your employee is the husband of a military reservist who usually cares for her paraplegic mother. The reservist is called to active duty, and can’t tend her mother while she’s away. If your employee applies for FMLA leave to care for his mother-in-law, you must grant it.

The same rule would hold if the person needing care were an adoptive, step-, or foster parent of the service member, or had acted in the place of a parent before the member turned 18.

And in our example, the employee wouldn’t necessarily be the spouse of the service member. The employee could also be a child or parent of the service member and be eligible for FMLA leave.

The rule
Under the new rule, employees can have FMLA military leave to:

  • arrange for alternative care for a service member’s parent,
  • care for the service member’s parent on an urgent basis when the need for care arises from the active duty, or
  • admit the service member’s parent to a care facility when admission is necessitated by the active duty.

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